“Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.” ― Carrie Fisher
When the world was first blessed with Star Wars in 1977, every little girl wanted to be Princess Leia.
When most people hear the word “princess” they think of a damsel in distress waiting for their knight in shining armor. Leia Organa was a special case. This natural-born leader was a stunning role model for everyone who felt trapped by the preconceived “weaknesses” that came with their female identity.
Carrie Fisher showed her fans how to stand up and fight by portraying a character that is still deemed to be one of the most influential players in the entire saga over 40 years later.
For the longest time, Leia seemed to be one of the only women in the entire Star Wars universe aside from Aunt Beru and Mon Mothma. Then came the prequel trilogy. Suddenly the galaxy seemed to be much, much larger.
For starters, Padmé Amidala is everything you would expect Leia’s mother to be: Strong, courageous, and determined to fight for what’s right. But Padmé wasn’t the only cosplay option for girls of this generation. On top of politicians, you could add bounty hunters, pilots, and even Jedi to the list of titles occupied by female characters.
Capable women of all races, species, and occupations had become a no-brainer in the Star Wars universe. But as the female side of the fandom continued to grow, Disney decided to take the next big leap.
In 2015, The Force Awakens gave us the very first female lead in a Star Wars film. Once again, the next generation of girls had an incredible milestone to celebrate. Many of them looked up to Rey, who was kind, yet fierce. They were moved by the young scavenger who learned to fend for herself, but at the same time never hesitated to put herself in harm’s way to protect her friends.
In giving us this easy-to-love gem of a being both powerful and selfless, another door had opened in our beloved galaxy.
Throughout the sequel trilogy we’ve met other female characters like Rose, Paige, Maz, Jannah, Zorii, and many more. But since the introduction of the new Canon era of Expanded Universe novels, there are actually dozens more women who make their name offscreen, many of them featured as the lead for their very own novel.
Ciena Ree from Lost Stars, Iden Versio from Battlefront II: Inferno Squad, and Vi Moradi from Black Spire are just a few of the countless examples of favorite female characters from the book-reading fandom.
What’s even more incredible is that many of the amazing Star Wars stories we see today are written by talented women like Claudia Gray, Christie Golden, Delilah S. Dawson, and E.K. Johnston just to name a few.
The influence that women have on Star Wars, whether it be through media or the fanbase, will only grow stronger as long as we keep our heads up high into the future of what’s to come.
If you’re a female member of the passionate Star Wars fandom, you may come across people who will argue that we don’t belong here. But they’re wrong. No matter how difficult things may seem, no matter how hard people try to drag you down, just know that you’re not alone.
Always remember that women have been integral to Star Wars since day one and we will continue to leave our mark on Star Wars until the end of time because it is and always has been for everyone.
We are brave, we are strong, and we will prevail together. Never lose your fire.
All of your favorite Star Wars ladies get a special spotlight in this gorgeous book by Amy Ratcliffe. Women of the Galaxy recognizes female characters that have made their name either on screen or within the pages of the Expanded Universe (or both). This encyclopedia contains beautiful artwork exclusive to this book, making it worthy enough to take up the best spot on your shelf for years to come.
In this prequel to 2019’s Queen’s Shadow, EK Johnston follows Padmé through her election as Queen of Naboo, her introduction to Captain Quarsh Panaka, and the assembly of her entourage of handmaidens. In individual vignettes, we see Panaka recruit each one and get a glimpse of the unique strengths each brings to the group, and the novel shows how they integrated into a cohesive team to serve and protect their Queen. Johnston deftly weaves this arc into the events going on in the galaxy at large, and we see how the foresight of Padmé and Panaka pay off as the handmaidens each play vital roles in the momentous events about to embroil their homeworld.
Along the way, Johnston successfully imbues each of these characters with unique personalities despite their work in a calling that demands they blend into the background. She also excels at portraying an ensemble of strong female protagonists who succeed because of their distinctly feminine strengths.
What does one do after ruling an entire planet? For Padmé Amidala, that answer came easily: move on to even bigger things. However, transitioning from the throne on Naboo to a seat in the Galactic Senate is not without challenges, especially at such a young age. Uneasy alliances, ruthless media, and hidden agendas not only leave her wondering how she can possibly hope to instate positive change in the galaxy, but also how she can survive long enough to do it.
EK Johnston’s story bridges the gap between the Padmé fans see in The Phantom Menace and the one they see in Attack of the Clones. It largely expounds upon Naboo culture, including the fashion, government, and the role of the handmaidens.
Asajj Ventress did not deserve the pain she endured as a child, but she endured it all the same. While most know her as the relentless, hardened Sith apprentice who will stop at nothing to please her master, there’s a much less sinister side to her -- one that may even be capable of falling in love.
There were many stories originally meant to complete The Clone Wars that never got their chance to be told. But Ventress’s journey deserved a proper ending, and it got exactly that. In this story of love, loss, and triumph, watch as the villain you thought you knew transforms into a celebrated hero of the Republic.
After the events of Order 66, survivors of the Jedi Purge must navigate the galaxy undetected. It's been a year since Ahsoka Tano watched the Galactic Republic fall, and she's leaving yet another planet to dodge Imperial suspicion and start over. Again. Something strange is happening, however, and she can't help but let her curiosity get her into serious trouble.
E.K. Johnston's young adult novel builds an important bridge between the Ahsoka we knew from The Clone Wars and the Fulcrum we meet in Star Wars Rebels. It's in this story that our hero must come to terms with her past and discover the role she is meant to play in her darkened galaxy's future.
In keeping with Alderaanian tradition, Princess Leia undergoes her Day of Demand, where she claims her right as heir to the throne and determines how she will prove herself worthy. Yet things have been tense between her and her adopted parents, Queen Breha and Viceroy Bail Organa. As Leia - also a member of the Empire's Apprentice Legislature - undertakes her challenges of the Body, Mind, and Spirit, she learns more about her adoptive parents than she ever suspected and begins her own journey that will forever change the galaxy.
When Jyn Erso joined the ranks of the Rebellion in an attempt to free her father from the Empire's grasp, she brought along a remarkable set of skills. These abilities allowed her to complete the most crucial mission of her life in service of the Rebels, but where did she acquire those techniques in the first place?
Enter Rebel Rising. Beth Revis takes us into the depths of Gerrera's Partisans as a young Jyn Erso learns how to fight, how to survive, and perhaps most importantly...how to know who to trust. Loyalty and betrayal intermingle marvelously in this Young Adult foray into the Erso Family Canon.
It’s not often we get to see conflicts in the Star Wars saga from the other side’s point of view. In most Star Wars stories, the heroes are Jedi, rebels, the “good guys.” We forget that from the point of view of an Imperial, the rebels are the evil ones, the ones that must be stopped: the “bad guys.”
In Christie Golden’s Inferno Squad, the attack on the first Death Star is an offense that must be avenged. Iden Versio and her team of special Imperial agents must go undercover to infiltrate Saw Gerrera’s group of Partisans and eliminate their threat. A prequel to Battlefront II, this book offers a new perspective on the aftermath of the events of A New Hope and what remaining Imperial troops were forced to endure in order to survive.
After the fall of the Empire, the Senate is split into the Populist and Centrist parties. Both profess the goal of restoring the Republic, though they are unable to set aside their opposing views. Tired of the pointless bickering within the Senate, Leia takes on one final mission before retiring. However, the mission proves to be bigger than she originally thought, inducing chaos and unveiling corruption.
Leave it to Claudia Gray to make politics exciting with action and drama! Bloodline is also an excellent gateway into the sequel trilogy, making this an essential read for fans interested in that era.
The Force Awakens introduced Star Wars fans to a new kind of villain -- a female stormstrooper commanding her troops behind reflective chrome armor. Through the end of the film, Captain Phasma remained mostly a mystery. Who was she? Where did she come from? And why did she look different than all the other stormtroopers?
Delilah S. Dawson managed to answer all of our burning questions about this antagonist in her adult novel, Phasma. Throughout the book, readers learn the ruthless extremes the character takes in order to survive, and how she finds herself among the high ranks of the First Order, despite never having heard of them before.
Cobalt Squadron tells the story of the Resistance's crack bomber pilots and technicians, including sisters Rose and Paige Tico, survivors of a world overrun by the First Order. Encountering another family on the run, the sisters undertake a mission to provide emergency aid to the Alterra system. Outwitting the First Order and helping people in need will take all of their ingenuity, bravery, and teamwork.
Cobalt Squadron overlaps the events of The Force Awakens and establishes the back-story for the Tico sisters. Many readers will find it helps deepen their appreciation for Paige and Rose as we see them on screen in The Last Jedi. In particular, it adds weight to Rose's sense of loss and her deepening sense of resolve through the film.
Set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Moving Target is an excellent Leia novel setting up for the Battle of Endor. Han Solo is frozen in Carbonite, but that won’t stop Leia from leading the Rebellion against the Empire. She leads a ragtag group of Rebels in a mission to distract the Empire while the larger Rebel fleet prepares to act on the intelligence they’ve received about the Death Star being built at Endor. Moving Target is the only one of the Journey to the Force Awakens middle-grade novels set between Episodes V and VI, and features a compelling frame story with General Leia set just prior to The Force Awakens.
Disney/Lucasfilm Press have released several middle-grade novels leading up to each of the Sequel Trilogy films, and have been wonderful contributions to Star Wars storytelling. They even feature several illustrations by legendary comics artist Phil Noto! Justina Ireland's book fits into the Journey to The Rise of Skywalker publishing program as a prequel to Episode IX. This book feels like exactly what we’ve been waiting for, as it places Rey, Rose, and Poe on a quest for the Resistance including a battle against the First Order, classic Star Wars creatures, and even a superweapon. Although billed as a middle-grade novel, you’ll be disappointed if you skip it, no matter your age!
After the Battle of Crait, General Organa's Resistance is decimated almost to the point of oblivion. But the fight is not over; they need allies and outposts. Leia sends her best spy, Vi Moradi, along with the newly reformed Archex to Black Spire Outpost where the pair will learn to deal with their past traumas, recruit an entirely new crew, and do their best to hide from the sinister First Order who has followed them all the way to Batuu.
Doctor Aphra made her big debut in the 2015 line of Darth Vader comics, but fans loved her so much that she earned her very own series.What’s not to love about this twisted spin on a classic crew? Chelli Lona Aphra is what everyone loves about Han Solo and then some. You never know what she’s going to pull out of her sleeve and she has a crew that’s just as lovable. Imagine the polar opposites of Chewie, Threepio, and Artoo times ten. You’ll never read anything else so different yet so Star Wars at the same time.
Since her introduction in Kieron Gillen's Darth Vader series from Marvel in 2015, Doctor Aphra caught fire in the fandom. With a morally grey rogue archeologist accompanied by murderous droids, what's not to love? Her story is filled with twists and turns, betrayal and romance, with more skin-of-your-teeth escapes than you ever thought possible, and now you can experience her introduction in a whole new way. Sarah Kuhn's adaptation of Aphra's arc in the Darth Vader comics smartly tells the story from her perspective, somehow recapping the 2015 comics without ever feeling like you were retreading old ground. This is one of the more unique, fun, and diverse stories in the galaxy.
Discover exciting new adventures as told by the very own Maz Kanata! Seeing our favorite female leads in the Star Wars universe coming together for special missions always calls for a great time. Hera and Leia, Sabine and Jyn, you never know who’s going to team up and kick some galactic butt!
The Battle of Yavin was a tremendous victory for the Rebellion, but it came at a great cost. In this highly-praised graphic novel, Leia Organa wastes no time in preserving what’s left of her lost home planet. As the daughter of the last rulers of Alderaan and the once-been future heir to the throne, the culture of Alderaan rests on the Rebel leader’s shoulders.
Ever wonder how Leia ends up with the Boushh disguise that she uses to sneak into Jabba’s Palace in The Empire Strikes Back? Well wonder no more! This issue of Age of Rebellion shows us just how far the lovestruck princess will go to rescue her favorite scoundrel.
Esteemed politician, Padme embarks on a secret solo mission to the neutral planet of Clarbon with her trusty handmaidens in tow. Of course trouble is waiting for the group upon arrival, but that doesn't stop Padme.
This short story is the perfect companion to E. K. Johnston's Queen's Shadow. Not only are we given more insight to Padme's loyal handmaidens, but we also get an appearance from Anakin Skywalker and a better peek into the dynamic of their secret marriage.
Before her life changing journey to Ahch-to to meet the legendary Luke Skywalker, Rey’s journey takes a slight detour thanks some mechanical troubles with then Millennium Falcon.
Following an intimate conversation with General Leia Organa, Rey & Chewie encounter some minor setbacks in their flight to the fabled island, so they stop off at a junker’s planet for some repairs. While dipping back into her old life of scavenging, Rey unexpectedly discovers a truth that has been inside her all along: she’s not alone, and she never will be.
This one-and-done issue gives the reader a quick and insightful backstory or Rose & Paige Tico. While we got a few anecdotes in The Last Jedi, this comic clues us into why they chose to join the Resistance and memories from their childhood on the planet Hays. Rose continues to prove she has the same core qualities that we've come to expect in our Resistance and Rebellion heroes: fiercely loyal, brave, and overflowing with hope.
Armed with her cunning, ruthlessness, blaster, Force-sensitivity, and a lightsaber, Aurra Sing is a bounty hunter with a particular preference in prey–Jedi!
Mara Jade is cunning, ruthless, sneaky, and powerful–all essential traits for Emperor Palpatine’s secret spy and assassin! Beginning with Mara’s mission to eliminate Luke Skywalker by infiltrating Jabba’s Palace at the beginning of Return of the Jedi, By the Emperor’s Hand tells what comes next—she must take down the leader of the notorious Black Sun organization.
After their victory in the Battle of Yavin, the Rebel Alliance make plans to set up a new base on the planet Hoth. Han and Leia set off to gather supplies for the base, but Leia is troubled when she encounters a group of Alderaanians who survived their planet’s destruction but had resorted to living as pirates. Razor’s Edge is a great Leia-centered story leading up to The Empire Strikes Back.
After being forced to evacuate its base on Yavin, the Rebellion is in turmoil. Its pledge to overthrow the Empire's iron-fisted rule is dependent upon finding a new headquarters for their operations. So, when an unlikely source approaches Rebel leadership offering the perfect location in exchange for Rebel protection from an invading alien war force, it seems the Force may be working in the Rebels' favor.
Unbeknownst to Luke, Han, Leia, and the rest of the fledgling Rebellion, Mara Jade, the Hand of the Emperor, and five stormtroopers called the Hand of Judgement, are on their way to that exact prospective base location, looking to destroy the Rebellion once and for all.